Ivan Kliun

Ivan Vasilyevich Kliunkov, known as Kliun, born in the village of Bolshie Gorki (ru) (near Moscow, government of Vladimir) on August 20, 1873, and died in Moscow on December 13, 1943, was a Russian avant-garde suprematist and constructivist artist, who was a painter, graphic artist, and sculptor.

Malevich, Kliun and Aleksei Morgunov (1914).
Malevich, Kliun and Aleksei Morgunov (1914).
Self-portrait (before 1903).
Self-portrait (before 1903).


In 1881, Ivan Klioune moved with his entire family to Ukraine and in 1890 he settled in Poland, which at that time was part of the Russian Empire. In Warsaw in 1890, he worked as an accountant.

He received an artistic education at the Penza School of Art, and then, in 1889 and 1890, at the School of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts in Warsaw. From 1890 to 1905, he studied art in Moscow in the studios of F. Rerberg, Ilia Machkov and V. Fisher, then at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg from 1907 to 1914.

From 1910 to 1914, Ivan Klioune took part in several exhibitions of the Soyuz Molodyozhi (Youth Union) group, together with artists such as David Bourliouk, Vladimir Bourliouk, Kazimir Malevitch, Pavel Filonov, Vladimir Tatline and Georges Annenkov.

In 1915, he took part in exhibitions: Tramway V, Exhibition 0,10 and joined the Supremus group of artists, led by Malevich. The following year, together with the Suprematist artists Kazimir Malevich, Alexandra Exter, Nina Genke, Lyubov Popova, Nadezhda Udaltsova and others, he took part in the artistic community experiment in the Ukrainian village of Verbovka.

From 1917 to 1921, Klioune was in charge of the Central Exhibition Bureau of the Fine Arts Department of the People's Commissariat of Education (the Narkompros). At the same time, from 1918 to 1921, he taught at the Higher Art and Technical Workshops (Vkhoutemas) in Moscow.

In the late 1920s, Klioune became a follower of French purism and, in the 1930s, of surrealism.


In 'Self-portrait with a saw', the analytical cubo-futurist figure is broken up. The world of humans and the world of objects are merged, with teeth and noses being recognisable. Yet the entire face is captured by the viewer's eye, who finds himself in the chaos3. The dynamism of the portrait is created by a series of small triangles in various positions from which the central figure emerges.

While Malevich's metallic colour "futurises" the construction, Klioune remains faithful to the colours of Cubism, to their earth tones.

Klioune was a prolific painter. A friend of Malevitch, Ukrainian like him, he took courses in Warsaw and Kiev. This enabled him to open up to all the pictorial cultures of the time, with the exception of neo-primitivism. In his works of 1915-1921, he used Malevich's iconographic vocabulary, but added his own graphic style with its triangles and ovoid forms. He is one of the only followers of Malevich (along with Lyubov Popova) to have created variations on bare geometric forms: circles, ellipses, chevrons, trapezoids.

Suprematist Composition (1915)
Suprematist Composition (1915)
The Clockmaker (1914)
The Clockmaker (1914)


  • Jean-Claude Marcadé, L'avant-garde russe 1907-1927, Flammarion, 2007 (ISBN 2-08-120786-9)
  • Angélina Viré, L'art et la révolution dans l'œuvre d'Ivan Klioune, master's thesis directed by Isabelle Ewig, Sorbonne University, June 2021, 150 pages. Online : https://sorbonne-universite.academia.edu/Ang%C3%A9linaVir%C3%A9/Thesis-Chapters
  • Angélina Viré, "Ivan Klioune et la matière-couleur", 2020. Online: https://www.academia.edu/43300061/Ivan_Klioune_et_la_mati%C3%A8re-couleur


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Digital Suprematism
El Lissitzky
Ivan Klioune
Ivan Kliun
Ivan Kliunkov
Ivan Kljoen
Ivan Klyun
Ivan Vasilyevich Kliunkov
Kazimir Malevich
Russian Constructivism


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This page was last changed on 2021-09-21.